Microtubules and molecular motors


A living cell is a fascinating object which, like a tiny city, has an ability to self-organize its own interior by constantly transporting material between different regions. Transport inside the cell requires forces to move and position various molecular assemblies and organelles, in a response to progression through the cell cycle and signals from the environment. These forces are mostly generated by motor proteins such as myosin, kinesin and dynein. Myosin moves along actin filaments, whereas kinesin and dynein move along microtubules.

To study how microtubules and molecular motors organize the cell interior, we develop theoretical models in parallel with on-going experiments of our collaborators in Zagreb and abroad. In our theory, we employ a basic knowledge of statistical physics and classical mechanics as well as known physical properties of microtubules and molecular motors. Our collaborators experimentally test theoretical predictions to validate proposed models.

Selected publications


J. Kajtez, A. Solomatina, M. Novak, B. Polak, K. Vukusic, J. Rudiger, G. Cojoc, A. Milas, I Sumanovac Sestak, P. Risteski, F. Tavano, A.H. Klemm, E. Roscioli, J. Welburn, D. Cimini, M. Gluncic, N. Pavin, I.M. Tolic.
Overlap microtubules link sister k-fibers and balance the forces on bioriented kinetochores.
Nat. Commun. 7, 10298 (2016). [View PDF]

M. Gluncic, N. Maghelli, A. Krull, V. Krstic, D. Ramunno-Johnson, N. Pavin, and I.M. Tolic.
Kinesin-8 Motors Improve Nuclear Centering by Promoting Microtubule Catastrophe.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 078103 (2015). [View PDF]

V. Ananthanarayanan, M. Schattat, S.K. Vogel, A. Krull, N. Pavin, I.M. Tolic-Norrelykke.
Dynein motion switches from diffusive to directed upon cortical anchoring.
Cell 153, 1526-1536 (2013). [View PDF]

I. Kalinina, A. Nandi, P. Delivani, M Chacón, A. Klemm, D. Ramunno-Johnson, A. Krull, B. Lindner, N. Pavin, I.M. Tolic-Norrelykke.
Pivoting of microtubules around the spindle pole accelerates kinetochore capture.
Nat. Cell Biol. 15, 82-87 (2013). [View PDF]

L. Laan, N. Pavin, J.Husson, G. Romet-Lemonne, M. van Duijn, M. Preciado López, R. D. Vale, F. Jülicher, S. L. Reck-Peterson and M. Dogterom.
Cortical Dynein Controls Microtubule Dynamics to Generate Pulling Forces that Position Microtubule Asters.
Cell 148, 502 (2012). [View PDF]







Funded by

Design by Ivana Šarić